POLICY-MAKING CAPABILITY IN UK GOVERNMENT – A CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR SAY

Probably the most important role of Whitehall departments is giving policy advice to Ministers. It is therefore curious that policy-making did not figure directly in the Capability Reviews that central government departments have been going through in the past few years. Continue reading

So What Would You Do?

In December I appeared as a witness before two Select Committees in the Westminster parliament: the Treasury Committee (TSC) which was responding to the government’s Pre-Budget Report; and the Public Administration Committee (PASC) which was investigating what standards of ‘good government’ might look like. Continue reading

The Art of Performance

The major first report by the UK’s latest ‘think tank’, the Institute for Government led by well-known and outspoken former Permanent Secretary Sir Michael Bichard, bodes well for the future of the new body. It is a serious, measured and balanced account of many of the achievements and problems experienced in the UK. Continue reading

Capable in a Crisis?

Sir Gus O’Donnell, head of the UK civil service, in a recent speech outlined why he thought the British civil service would perform well in the current financial and economic crisis. In an article – Mandarin-tinted glasses” – published in Public Finance magazine, I ask questions just how well Whitehall is really doing – based on their reports of their performance. Continue reading